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October 14, 2016: Patrick Walker, Economist at the City of Calgary.   www.calgary.ca/economy

Les Morgan introduced Patrick Walker, the city economist of the city of Calgary when he arrived, being delayed by traffic! Patrick is in charge of the city's corporate economics department, whose purpose is to assist the city in the decision-making process by providing services in the area of economic forecasting, information provision, policy analysis and consulting.

Patrick has a BA and an MA in economics and formerly worked for the city of Edmonton as an economist. He reviewed his latest forecast with us which was released on October 6 of this year.

Patrick went into some detail in presenting his forecast and the methodology with which it is produced. The short version of the forecast is that GDP will contract by 3.2% in 2016 and grow by 1.2 % in 2017. Economic activity will be weighed down by reduced investment expenditures and job layoffs.

Stronger economic growth from 2018 onward would result in employment growing faster than the labour force and pushing the unemployment rate down from the current high levels. The reduction in the unemployment rate would cause labour incomes to grow and boost consumer spending.

Things will go down until 2018, at which point they should recover, but a return to 2013 and 2014 levels is not immediately foreseeable. The actual forecast and other information can be had at www.calgary.ca/economy.

Larry Doyle thanked Patrick for his presentation and presented him with his Boltman.

  • Larry Doyle and Patrick Walker
    Larry Doyle and Patrick Walker

reported by Larry Doyle

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